You pour your heart out to create ads that make your audience tick. Your ad copy is par excellence and the CTA is a work of art. But, how much attention are you paying to the placement of your ads on the Google Display Network? Are the websites they are showing up on relevant to your audience or are you letting ad placements to chance?
If you recognize yourself in the second scenario, then it’s time to buckle up. This is your short guide to Google ad placement and how to make the most out of it.
Google Ad Display Placement 101
Whenever we are mentioning ad placement to our clients, they look at us a bit surprised. Most of them know that Google will show the ads for their product or service on the display network, but most have no idea that they can control this process.
Placements allow you to put your Google display ads on a specific site that is relevant to your audience. That way you can ensure that you are not making silly errors such as advertising your coffee on a news page that talks about how someone had a heart attack after savoring their first ever cup.
You can choose between two types of ad placements:
- Automatic: As the name suggests, Google is the one deciding where to place your ads. It will look at the ad copy, keywords, topic, and so on to decide on which sites to show your ads.
- Managed Placement: This option gives you a bit more control and allows you to determine the placement of your ads based on how relevant it is to your business. However, if you want to manage ads, then you should know that this type of placement is only available for a few campaigns, such as video or Display network only.
Optimization Is Paramount
The Display network accounts for about 90% of the web, so naturally, you want to narrow your targeting as much as possible. Similar to optimizing your AdWords campaign to get a favorable position in Google search, managing ad placement can increase your click-through rates and bring qualified leads through your virtual door.
As mentioned above, the display keywords, topics, audience, and so on are the factors that could influence your ad placement. Let’s take a look at each of them:
- Display Keywords: You know already that your keywords should be relevant to your products and services. If people search for “the best memory foam mattress to buy” then that is what your ad should deliver. The same stays true for the display network too. The right keywords will ensure that your display ad shows up on the right sites.
- Topic: One common mistake advertisers make is choosing various topics, thinking that the broader the range, the higher the chances of reaching a large audience. That’s false. If you are selling mattresses, then choose a relevant topic, such as Home Decor.
- Demographic: Think about the sites your target audience is more likely to visit. Do they prefer to read a blog post about the best types of mattresses or a news article?
- Device: Another factor that can influence your display ad placement is the device prospects use to navigate content that is relevant to your business.
So, Where to Place Google Ads?
The internet has made it possible to target your audience with almost mathematical precision. In the old days, you would place a banner at a busy intersection or buy commercial time on a TV station and hope that a percentage of the people seeing your ad will turn into leads. Now, you can put your advertisement in front of the people who are looking for the product or service you are selling and have an intent to buy.
The thing is, it doesn’t happen automatically. Sure, you can entrust Google to decide which sites are relevant to your business and show your ads there, but that may cost you more in the long run. Or, you can choose the data-driven approach, open your Google Analytics, and see what you can improve.
Here are some ideas:
- Look at What’s Working and What’s Not
Take a look at your Analytics and determine what changes you need to make. If certain ad groups seem to perform better than others, then focus on them. Likewise, if a specific site seems to generate more conversion, look for websites with similar content.
If, on the other hand, one site seems to perform poorly, then the first thing you should do is to do a search for your keywords and see if there are any negative references. If that’s the case, then you should remove that page. Make sure to also look at how much traffic the site is generating. Maybe it is too low to help you meet your goals, in which case it would be better to remove it from your list than to continue wasting your budget.
- Leverage the AdSense Heatmap
If you are familiar with the display network, then you know that some web page placements are better than others for your Google AdSense ads. For instance, the above the fold area is a prime location as prospects are more likely to click on the content featured there. The same goes for the middle of an article.
But, besides these well-known tricks, AdSense placement can get quite tricky. That’s where Google’s AdSense heat map can come in handy. It will show you the best ad placements that will generate the highest revenue without annoying the site’s readers.
Here’s where you should place an ad if you want to get the highest CTR:
- At the top of the article;
- In between the content;
- Sidebar banner
- Always Keep Your Audience in Mind
Try to put yourself in your audience’s shoes and imagine a day in their life. What sites are they most likely to browse? Are they using their mobile devices or do they prefer to navigate from their desktop computers? What type of content do they prefer?
- The Site’s Relevancy Is More Important Than Its Traffic Stats
If you sell antique watches, then you probably have a limited audience that visits specific sites. Sure, you won’t get as many impressions as if you were to show your ads on general pages, but the quality of your leads is higher and they are more likely to click and convert.
Over to You
Online advertising is a complex endeavor that involves a lot of moving pieces. Video ads, for example, can convert better than text ads, but their placement matter as well. If they interrupt the user experience, then users will ignore them or get annoyed by them and develop a negative association with your brand.
Australian Internet Advertising is here to help you through this process. We are Google Partners and have extensive knowledge of building profitable online marketing campaigns.